Fairly Generous Portions

[Oopsy, got busy and forgot to poast this on the proper prompt day. Sorries!]

Recently I went to the L.A. County Fair out in Pomona and had a fabulous time. I learned that it’s the largest county fair in the country, which makes sense, given that Los Angeles has, what, 4 millionish peeps? One of the things that made this fair so enjoyable for me was that even though it was crowded I didn’t feel squashed in by folks because there was so much space to move around in. We even found a lunch table, in the shade! That never happens at the O.C. Fair. (And I hate eating standing up.) We had to stand for a while when we were listening to the karaoke contestants, but then we got seats, which was awesome.

The karaoke was spectacular! This was the reason I was interested in schlepping all the way out to Pomona in the first place. Some of you may recall that I attended an Elvis karaoke festival in Garden Grove in August, which was super fun (and super beastly hot), where California Elvii competed for three top prizes, and I wanted to follow up with the winners by watching them compete against each other and more winners, or so I thought, at this thing. I assumed there would be a plethora of western Elvii again going for prizes, which these winninger winners would take to Vegas later on to compete on a national or even international level for Elvis world champ. And that’s what you get for assuming ~ it was nothing like that.

One, my favorite (turquoise) Elvis, who got third place in Garden Grove, bailed on Pomona. Two, the otter two were simply in the ordinary karaoke lineup. Three, there was no special “Elvis” section to the karaoke. It was just a whole bunch of impersonators. But! They were all super-duper great, so it was still worthwhile (not to mention the rest of the day was fun too). In fact, the Tom Jones guy was unbelievably fabulous. And he won the contest! Since the turquoise Elvis was MIA, I immediately switched loyalties to TJ because I’m fickle like that.

One thing that you can always count on at fairs is getting a good bang for your buck in the food department. Someone must have figured out that people would rather spend twice as much for three times the normal portion of a munch item, since that’s the only option at any of the various food stands (except at the not-so-generous vegan taco place… what’s up with that?). Want some curly fries? You have to buy a “sleeve” of ‘em for $10 ($9.17 plus tax, cleverly calculated so no one has to do any pesky math), which is more than enough for three people.

Of course they had the “famous” turkey legs, though I didn’t notice the price since I wasn’t interested in gnawing on Ben Franklin’s favorite fowl. While I stood in line for fries though, I did end up with a face full of smoke for several minutes, not unlike my old bar days in Chi-town, and had a husky voice all day Sunday.

In the mood for a sweet? I was. Before it cooled off, I thought I might like some ice cream ~ the mid-afternoon high temps were in the mid-90s and I was super-sweaty, but the second the sun set, it became downright chilly and the idea of ice cream lost its appeal. I switched to cookies, being a flexible sort. But this wasn’t the mall, and there was no Mrs. Field’s. You don’t buy one cookie at the fair. LOL! One cookie! Silly! You buy a sleeve (what’s with these sleeves?) or a bucket. Since the bucket had my friend’s name on it, she bought one, for $15. We all shared, and there were leftovers to take home. I must say, they were absolutely delicious.

Sorry I cannot report on the quality of any of the more outrageous items, but if I were going to try one… I would have found it difficult to choose between the Fireball infused caramel donut and the caramel coconut Samoa. Omgosh!

noms

Well done, Los Angeles.

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Generous

Take A Hike!

I hate hiking.

There I said it. What? Blasphemy! Everyone has to like hiking now. It’s 2016 gospel, or something. How can I say I don’t like hiking? It’s as if I kicked a puppy or rejected a piece of Grandma’s homemade bread or told a kid her scribbled rainbow looks like a dead bird.

Too bad. I hate hiking! Neener.😛

Hiking is a big pile of work. Unlike a normal walk, a hike takes planning. It’s goal-oriented and competitive. It stresses me out. It’s not fun. It’s not relaxing. When I listen to people talk about their hikes, they are always about the next one, a longer one, a better one. Why? Cuz it’s a sport.

Argh! It’s a sport! Yucky. Blech. I despise sports.

What I enjoy is walking, meandering aimlessly, without a goal. Did I walk a mile? Two and a quarter miles? Cool. Saturday at the L.A. County Fair I walked about 7 miles in 12 hours. I was tired, but fine. If you had said to me, hey, wanna take a 7 mile goal-oriented hike… I would have told you to er take a hike. I’ve been on lurvely, slow walks where I saw some aminals, took some photos, rested, and had a snack. Sat on a log for an hour and yapped with a friend about life, the universe, and nothing. Stopped for two hours near a waterfall with a blanket, the duke, and… Whoops, wrong novel.

Anyway. Point is, on my ambles, I’m not thinking about the next one… I’m in the present. I might be in a park. Or at the mall. Or at the beach. But I’m probably not in the mountains where I need to carry a raft of stuffs for shelter and noms and hydration and sanitation and fighting off bears and snakes and Klingons. Chrissakes.

Plus I’m not good at hiking and have no desire to achieve goodness at it. I’m at peace with my slow ambles and rambles. I shall leave the hiking trails and paths less traveled for the hardy hikers and intrepid explorers. I’ll just be moseying along come Saturday morning around the library duckie pond with my granola, feeding the squirrels, and musing about poetry.

Hiking sucks!

hike

~*~
Via The Daily Prompt: Hike

The Luxury of Being Fragile

I was an emotionally fragile only child. I had all my parents’ attention and I was entitled to it. Why shouldn’t each emotion be amplified and examined at every moment? What could possibly be more important? Certainly this was encouraged by them anyway.

But my parents were emotionally fragile too, and heavily dependent upon me. It was a strange triangle, built upon a system of lies and complicit secrets that were ultimately divulged amid new layers of secrecy. “Now don’t tell Mom I told you that she told me that you told her I told you about that thing, OK?”

I probably shouldn’t have moved to California with them in 1983. As I was toughening up emotionally in Chicago, in my early 20s, I was physically stronger. Well, you had to be ~ it was Chicago, ffs. But when I deplaned at LAX that October afternoon I had a such a killer migraine that I could hardly see or walk. I literally had to hang on to my mom so I wouldn’t fall. (I wonder if I had a teensy stroke it was so bad). I’ve been a physically fragile flower since with all these triggers, while back in Chicago I wore perfume, smoked cigarettes, and drank pitchers of beer. Sure I got headaches… and I kicked their ass. Those were the days.

When I was married and “being taken care of,” I found the renewed luxury of fragility. If I didn’t feel well, I didn’t have to do anything. My mother would come over to deal with the kids. I had a cleaning lady. Grocery shopping could be done the next day. Someone would pick up takeout food. I never had to worry about the cost of going to yet another doctor’s appointment or ordering a prescription. I was aware that I was lucky, although there were negatives of course.

As that situation fell apart, I no longer had the luxury of being fragile. I had to toughen up. Someone needed to go to work every day ~ oh, it was me. Someone had to support the kids ~ oh, that was me too. Someone had to deal with my father ~ whoops, me again! Someone had to deal with the broker selling our properties, be an emotionally level adult, not lose her temper, not cry, be steady, do the right things, every single day no matter what, even if sick, even if migrainey, me me me me. And I did. No room for errors, for breakdowns, for fragility.

Being fragile is a luxury I could no longer afford at the time (which lasted a while). And now… I find have no patience for it. When I find myself feeling emotionally fragile over something or other, I allow it for a few moments, maybe the length of a song, and then I get disgusted with myself and snap out of it.

That said, I assiduously avoid stressful situations. No need to test my breaking point.

 

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Fragile

Better Than A Radish

I’ve been feeling guilty for not blogging for several days and vowed to do the prompt this morning, but radical makes me think of radishes and who cares about radishes? Not me, certainly.

Then, lo, I received an alert at lunch that Phil had nominated me for a bloggy award! What a nice surprise! And so much better than a radish. See for yourself:

Cool Bloggity Award

vba

 

Boring Old Radish

radish

 

Luckily, I’ve also been neglecting Twitter or I might have gone over 1000 blog followers this weekend and become ineligible for the award. (If you floop your blog poasts onto your twitter, WordPress counts your tweeters as blog followers ~ did you know that? Well, now you do!) Laziness pays off, yet again. Thank you, Phil!

There are rules I must follow in order to be allowed to continue to bask in this award glow:

1. Thank the person who nominated me (done).
2. Share the award on my blog (ditto).
3. Share 7 random facts about myself (k, hang on).
4. Tag 10 bloggers with under 1000 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated (will do).

Seven random facts about me:
– I’m an only child of an only child father.
– I have lived in the 3 largest cities in the U.S.
– I broke up with a man because he dissed my daughter’s university (GO BEARS!).
– I haven’t bought any new shoes this year.
– My current favorite color is turquoise.
– I’ve been writing moon-themed poetry.
– My only broken bone occurred while playing field hockey.

One of those 7 is false. Guess which one! You need to pay attention around here, folks.

These are the 10 bloggers I’m nominating for the Versatile Blogger award:

The Cat Chronicles
Cozier Shack
Dee’s Dating Diary
Left Handed Dragon
LizardDreams
Serenebabe
Simply Skysong
Sixteen Tons
Stevensscribble
Toxic Elephant

They’re all way more interesting than radishes. Enjoy!

Regarding Elegance

People have described me in many different ways (some not fit for print), but no one would call me elegant ~ and I’m OK with that.

silly-hat

 

This isn’t because I dislike elegance ~ quite the contrary. Elegance holds great appeal for me in many ways. First, I love math and logic, both of which, at their best, are often beautifully elegant. There’s nothing more intellectually satisfying than to work out a complex equation by discovering a clean, lean, streamlined solution. Elegance!

Second, the pure aesthetics of clean and simple design also turn me on. I adore a bold artistic statement of monochromatic décor with a splash of contrasting color. The uncluttered ivory bedroom with a single red rose in a crystal vase on the dresser is the height of elegance ~ gorgeous. Remember when it was all the rage to B&W-ify your photos and add back one accent of color? Loved that elegant look.

Third, I totally admire the olden days of elegant dress. James Bond in a tux is the ultimate male, sipping champagne in the casino and then slipping out back to slit someone’s throat. He adjusts his cuffs and returns to baccarat, white shirt pristine and every hair in place. Same goes for his female counterpart in her long black gown with diamond stud earrings and ruby lipstick that never gets smudged.

But I am not that woman. If I ever get fancy in an elegant black gown with lovely black heels and my hair done just so, then I will fling on  a sequined rainbow shawl, wheeeeee! And my lipstick will get smudged right away on a cupcake or from using my teeth to open the plastic wrapper on a new deck of cards or from smooching a kitteh, who will proceed to shed half its furs on the dress.

Sometimes I start to write an elegant poem, but it always dissolves into something silly. I can write angry and/or sad and stay with those emotions, but whenever I catch myself trying to be elegant I can’t resist tossing a handful of glitter in the air.

It’s not my fault ~ I’m just made that way.

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Elegant

Cake

With all my yappery about cake, you’d think it’d be easy enough for me to find a photo of one in my archives that I’ve baked, right? Well, yes and no. I have a pic, from early this year, but I don’t feel like sharing/discussing it, so I won’t. The cake I made a few weeks ago for my Elvis theme didn’t come out well in the photo (boring!). I recently bought a pi-shaped pan to make a cool cake in, but I haven’t done it yet, so it doesn’t count. I so wish I had a photo of the “pi cake” my friend E and I made for our high school math teacher. (I wonder if he ate it/shared it with the otter teachers. They’d have had no reason to suspect we’d poison them or anything ~ we were great students, even if a little weird.)  I have photos of slices of cake here and there, but they aren’t very good quality and I don’t have much to say about them. I have a fab real photo of a fantastic cake I made for my eldest daughter’s M&M birthday, but I wanted to scan it for better quality (Tiger Girl is a pic of a pic and I think we can tell, no?). I wonder what happened to the cupcake-cake I had a very detailed blog post on in some otter blog somewhere? Didn’t archive it. Oh! I shall google that!

Did not find anything but the odd fact that I was quoted in the Dallas Morning News in 2008. I was famous for 15 seconds and didn’t even know, so I didn’t have the chance to brag about it. Sheesh! And I wasn’t famous for writing about romance or being funny or anything cool.😦

In any case, what I meant about the cupcake-cake was that I had a neato cake pan shaped like a giant cupcake. It was a very fun baking experience the one time, and I documented it carefully (somewhere), but the pan was huge and impractical to take to my dad’s when I sold my condo, so I dumped it at the garage sale for a buck or whatever. I hate garage sales. If anything makes you feel more like crap than having people paw over the remains of your life, haggling  over something you actually enjoyed for even less than the pennies you tagged it for so they can resell it at the swap meet, idk what. Should have tossed the whole lot in the Goodwill bin and written it off my taxes. Dunno wtf I was thinking to hold a garage sale. Idiocy. I might have made $600 for that weekend of torture. Talking huge pieces of furniture and everything. Gahhh. Nightmare.

OK, so… cake. When I was growing up, we ate a lot of cake. Yes, I have a lot of time today, and so we are going to begin at the beginning. First, all was darkness. And then God said, hey, let’s bake something. I think that’s how it went. Just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I believe cake comes from nothing. What are you, nuts? Actually I don’t like nuts in cake. Or brownies. They’re OK in peanut butter cookies. Next, I got fat (duh), so I went on a diet when I was 11, stopped eating like my parents, and got un-fat for the rest of my life. I still eat cake though because cake is good. Everything must be sacrificed for the cake; possibly this means cake is God. Just kidding, folks. Do not take my advice on anything ever. Now what are you going to do? I’m so evil. Moving on…

Third, I got married when I was 24 and we didn’t have a cake, so the marriage failed. Yes, this is why. Then I got married again when I was 26 (divorced in between because pesky laws)… and again, no cake. I am a slow learner, sometimes. As you would expect, this marriage failed also. Now I am old and single, but I can have all the cake I want, whenever I want. As it turns out, I don’t have that much. Which is good because as any ful kno, cake is bad for you. Dur. If you are starting to think that my poasts are very mixed up and confuzzling lately, you’re right. I’m writing very stream of consciousnessly in order to encourage the creative process. Also, I’ve been taking a lot of sudafed. Yesterday, in the shower I had the most absolutely brilliant creative idea ever, but when I got out and tried to remember it, all I could think about was turtles. Not those little ones that we used to have as pets before everyone was all freaked out about Salmonella poisoning, but those giant graceful sea turtles. Those are pretty fucking cool, aren’t they?

It’d be neat to make a cake in the shape of one ~ or to make many sea turtle cakes, stacked on top of each other for a “It’s turtles all the way down” party. Not sure what else you’d do at that party, but I think we’re off to a good start with the stacked cakes as long as we had someone who could cut them properly without ruining the whole thing right off the bat.

OK, I’m done. Happy day off from laborings, if you should be so lucky. Back to your BBQ and beers. You know that’s all worse for you than cake, right?

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Cake

Walk This Way

Crumbs

This was the sidewalk in front of Crumbs bakery on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (October 2007). My ex and I went there during my obsession to taste and chart all the gourmet cupcakes in SoCal. I can’t find my ratings of Crumbs, or my nice Cupcake Table (wotever happened to that??), but I have a vague memory that they weren’t nearly as good as Sprinkles (yum!) or any of the other cupcakeries I tried back then. Sprinkles is still my favorite, on the rare occasions I indulge.

To continue the Crumbs saga… they went bankrupt and closed most of their stores (FAQs), but have now reorganized and reopened a handful back East. I note that now nutritional info is easily available for their cupcakes (as it is with more and more food items), and I’m happy to see that I’ve been guesstimating correctly all along that a gourmet cupcake is about 500-600 calories. Pretty awful, considering the low nutritional content.

I know some of you will say, eh, why do we need labels on cake cuz like duh everyone knows cake is bad. OK, then move along and don’t read the labels. Some of us prefer to know all the ingredients (in case of allergies or other sensitivities) and a more precise breakdown of info so that we can make informed choices when we purchase food items. I am pleased at the growing trend to label All The Things!

But not people. People shouldn’t be labeled. That’s the whole problem with dating sites (rant continued on p. 857).

Yes, I know the initial data show that labels have not yet helped the average person make a “better” choice, but there are so many assumptions pre-loaded into that statement and so much misinformation given out that, well, BLAH! The goverment keeps telling us all the wrong things about food, omg. Carbs! Eat gigantic bagels! Don’t eat fat! Eggs are bad, no good, no bad, no good. Salt is bad, no, yes, no. I can’t get into all that now. Labels = good. 

Anyway. When I searched my archives for something about sidewalks, I came up with this and it gave me a happysad. Not for cupcakes, but for the few times my ex and I did something fun together.

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Sidewalk

~*~

PS: After I poasted this, a friend alerted me to the fact that not only did I have a previous poast about Crumbs, but I also uploaded my famous Cupcake Table! WordPress itself said so in the suggestions to this very poast. So, obviously when we can’t find something in the archives, we should whine about it, publish the whine, and WP will find it afterwards. Yay! I guess.😛

Tiger Girl

Tiger

This is my fierce younger daughter when she was about 8 years old dressed up for Halloween at our old house in Huntington Beach. She has become a very successful young woman, just like her older sister. I’m so proud of both my girls. Mommysqueeee! (I don’t do this too often, so please indulge me just a little, kthx.)

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Fierce

The Vice Principle

Isn’t that a great title?

It’s actually available, not that you couldn’t use a title that’s out there (sort of ~ you probably wouldn’t want to reuse The Maltese Falcon unless you were doing something funny like The Mall Tease Falcon, which, surprisingly, is also available).

Whenever I see/hear the “vice-principal” or the “vice-president” I automagically put the emphasis on the first syllable because I’m just wired that way, wired to be weird, I guess. Although I prefer to think of it as wired to be hilarious. YMMV.

Maybe that’s why Breaking Bad really kicked in for me with the introduction of Saul Goodman, the guy to call when you need a criminal lawyer. Loved that so much.

But they’re entirely different things, vice and vice.🙂

I don’t know how anyone learns English. How is it possible for someone to learn it as an adult? I can’t even. It’s such a disorganized, horrible mishmash. Where would you even begin? Why do I speak such a messy language, argh?!?

No wonder there are so many misunderstandings.

According to the dico, vice means moral depravity or corruption; a moral fault or failing; or a habitually and usually trivial defect or shortcoming. So, it’s anything from kidnapping children into a sex slavery ring to popping your gum all day at the office cube farm.

Clearly we don’t need the word “vice” for any of the things along the spectrum from trivial to hideous because we have much more specific words for all of them. Vice is useless as a noun and should be used only as a preposition or prefix.

However! The Vice Principle is still a great title and I give it to you because I’m all bogged down in otter things right now. Plus it sounds like it’d be a title for either a detective story (or a story in a series of detective stories) or some sort of self-help woo book, and neither of those would be the sort of book I’d write.

I almost wrote a mystery/suspense novel once, but it didn’t work out. And when I say almost wrote, I mean I wrote about 50 pages, which is what my friend AH once said we all can do. What really separates the writers from the wannabes is what happens after 50 pages.

I’m not a mystery writer.

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Vice

I Wuz Framed!

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012 (or thereabouts), Murder Mystery Dinner in Garden Grove at a private home. This wasn’t a professional production, so we didn’t have the super-funny actors as we did at the 2015 MMD, but instead we played all the parts ourselves. Very fun. And, as I recall, the same friend won best something or other at both MMDs. Go Judene! (Sorry I can’t remember the prize titles.)

I used this photo for the “frame” prompt because I’m framed by the chair and also it gave me the chance to yell “I wuz framed!” as a gangster, presumably arrested for something I didn’t do after the dinner. They set me up! Isn’t that always the way?

~*~

Via The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame